Doguwa: Legislature Receives Only 1% of National Budget

Ado Doguwa

*  Asks CSOs, media to correct narrative

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has stated that not more than one percent of the Nigeria’s annual budget goes to the National Assembly and all its agencies.

Doguwa, who disclosed this while addressing the board of Civil Society and Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), which paid him a working visit in his office yesterday, said the erroneous narrative about the salaries and allowances of members of the legislature is worrisome, and should be corrected.

He said out of the N128 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2021 budget, just a little of it goes into salaries and allowances of the lawmakers, as there are other agencies and bureaucracies within the National Assembly.

According to him, “Out of this N128 billion allocated to the National Assembly, you have the central management, the House and Senate managements, the National Assembly Service Commission, the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), and the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO), which all take from this money. Just as we need you to supervise and check what we do, also try to help us correct this negative and wrong narrative to the public.’’

Doguwa compared what goes to the education and defence sectors with what goes to the legislature, saying lawmakers and the bureaucracies working with them get just a fraction of what both sectors take combined.

The lawmaker said: ‘’When you calculate what agencies under education and the ministry itself got in the 2021 budget, it’s over N1 trillion. And then you look at the defence ministry, which got the highest amount. If you compare them to what the National Assembly got, you will realise that it is nothing in comparison.’’

He also spoke on the current crisis arising from the #EndSARS protest across the country, saying the youths should give peace a chance and allow the National Assembly take measures that will bring lasting solutions to their concerns.

“So CISLAC, these are some of the areas you need to look into in your civic responsibility as a civil society organization, and we will also look into the areas of collaboration and improvement that you have noted,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, who led the delegation told the House Leader, stated that his organisation is not unmindful of efforts being made by the National Assembly leadership to correct many of the anomalies bedevilling Nigeria as a country.

Rafsanjani said: “We know that the National Assembly is determined and ready to work with executive to find a lasting solution to the current problems facing the country. And on the level of corruption and decay facing us, we are confident that the National Assembly will create legislative framework that will curb the anomalies hindering the success of the fight against corruption and the overall development of our country. We saw that you passed the EFCC Act, the ICPC Act and other legislations aimed at fighting corruption, and we hope that you collaborate more with the executive in the fight against corruption even if it means amending some of the existing laws.

“On the issue of job creation, most Nigerians are not satisfied with the way jobs vacancies are announced and filled. There are instances where people say jobs are sold to the highest bidders or those with godfathers, and we hope that the National Assembly will look into these allegations and investigate them with a view to addressing it so that young and qualified graduates can have equal opportunities to be gainfully employed.”